Three Ways GlobalHack VI Could Help St. Louis’s Homeless Population

 In Culture, News

GlobalHack VI is coming to St. Louis this weekend at Saint Louis University’s Chaifetz Arena, and it’s bringing a huge potential for social change with it.

Entrepreneurs, tech gurus, graphic artists and more from all around the world will gather October 21-23 to meld minds and create solutions around a single idea: homelessness in the St. Louis area. GlobalHack VI teams will work to create software prototypes that could help streamline the efforts of agencies like St. Patrick Center while competing for $1 million in cash prizes. Kelly Peach, senior director of communications at St. Patrick Center, isn’t sure what the participants will dream up—the specific challenge is tightly protected, not to be revealed until Friday evening’s opening ceremony—but she has a few ideas about the software concepts that agencies working with the local homeless population could use to be more successful.

1/ Connection between organizations
With agencies collaborating all across St. Louis City and County as well as throughout St. Charles County, new software that allows rapid and easy connection among them would be immensely helpful, Peach says. Some organizations have programs and services that aren’t available elsewhere, and ready access to that information—rather than dozens of dead-end phone calls—could make serving St. Louis’s people a smoother process.

2/ Tracking
At a place like St. Patrick Center, where the goal is to help homeless or near-homeless individuals achieve self-sufficiency, it’s helpful to know where these people have come from, where they have stayed in the past and what services they have received, Peach says.

3/ Fund following
Knowing where the available funds are could could be a timesaver and a boost for people who run service organizations like St. Patrick Center, Peach says. These groups run largely on donations, and the spread isn’t always even.

After this weekend, we’ll know what Globalhack VI participants create and how their software may help improve the lives of St. Louisans, and Peach is excited about that. “People donate what they can, but this is a great example of tech people having the opportunity to get involved in an important mission the best way they know how,” she says. “It’s a slice of the universe that might not have had the opportunity otherwise to help.”

Find more information about GlobalHack, its programs and its mission on the GlobalHack website.

Featured image courtesy of GlobalHack.

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